Top 3 Tuesday – Gadget Edition
I know, I know… I skipped last week’s Top 3. I just kind of forgot that it was Tuesday, and by the time I remembered it was just too late. If you have been following my Twitter/Facebook posts the last few weeks you probably noticed that I’m in the market for a new laptop. Yesterday Microsoft announced the KIN and of course who can forget about the Apple iPad. This week’s Top 3 is all about the gadgets and gizmos that make your life a little easier.
What are the top 3 gadgets/gizmos that make your life a little easier?
- My cell phone – specifically the iPhone
- My eReader – specifically the iPhone (Kindle app)
- My point and shoot camera/video recorder – specifically the iPhone
So you may be thinking that I’m some Apple fanboy, but you’re wrong. I just haven’t found a device that really has what I want in it. I like that the iPhone is an all in one product that fits in the palm of my hand. The iPad is great and all, but I just don’t see the utility since I can do it all on my phone. The one device that I am really looking forward to is Microsoft’s Courier. This is going to be a slick little device if Microsoft doesn’t screw it up. The video demos on Engadget and Gizmodo really have me interested.
One comment on Gizmodo hit the nail on the head when he said, “This is completely practical and can server multiple purposes. Imagine school textbooks on this thing?” – Exactly… can you imagine being able to download your school texts, then be able to highlight like in a real book, and then have the ability to extract the highlights and notes, and arrange them? I can see it now, having the book open on one side and a journal on the other taking notes in class? If I were Microsoft, I would be going around right now to all the major publishing houses to broker deals for a market place dedicated to serving not only colleges, but primary and secondary schools too. This could revolutionize how we learn and how we teach.
Then Microsoft’s price point needs to be around $200. Why $200, well the device isn’t going to be where Microsoft makes its money… oh no. Its going to be off the negotiated royalties it gets for every text book sold. Imagine if a school system purchased 10,000 Couriers. That would only be $2 million for the school system. Then on top of that they purchase the text books. I have no idea what a school system is charged for every text book, but lets assume its around $35 (assuming the district gets a cut rate for buying in bulk). With the Courier Microsoft could charge $15 a text book. The publisher would get $10 and Microsoft would get $5. This doesn’t seem like much, but by not having to actually print new books the publisher is saving money already. If the profit off the sale of one text book is only $10 (printed or electronic) the company is actually making MORE money this way since their overhead and equipment costs will be lower. The publisher can also offer electronic updates more frequently. Just thinking about it gets me really excited.
The only set back is going to be battery life. That is going to be the most significant problem with creating a viable option. Being able to create a device that can perform like it was intended for extended periods of time (say at least 8-hours) will be a challenge.